Samsung Galaxy Watch 3's killer feature is now live — here's how it works

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3
(Image credit: Future)

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 has just got a big health tracking upgrade.

An update to the Samsung Health app (via Engadget) now lets you check your blood oxygen using Samsung's newest smartwatch. "While running with a Galaxy Watch3, you can now monitor your VO2max and other advanced metrics," the patch notes for version of the app read.

VO2 max, or blood oxygen monitoring in layman's terms, measures how much oxygen is present in your blood. It can be used to check how healthy your cardiovascular system is in general, or to see how your exercise is improving your body's ability to carry oxygen. High VO2 max is particularly important for people practicing sports and activities that focus on endurance, like running or rowing.

Also present in Samsung Health is support for SpO2 tracking, which monitors the oxygen saturation of your blood. This will help you understand when your levels are dropping low; usually a good sign you need to take a break from exercising to properly catch your breath.

The other big update to the app is being able to "Track your sleep using the Galaxy Watch3 and receive a Personalized Sleep Score with suggestions to improve your sleep quality". Similar to other sleep tracking wearables, the Galaxy Watch 3 will give you tips on how to improve your nightly rest, as well as a readout of how deep your sleep was throughout and when you woke up.

We're still waiting for the Watch 3's ECG feature, however. Currently approved by the FDA but not live on the app or devices, this will let the watch measure your heart rate more accurately, and even detect heart problems. It's already present in the Apple Watch 5, so Samsung would be wise to bring this to market soon in order to stay competitive with Apple.

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.